With a licorice-like flavor and digestion-supporting medicinal properties, there’s a lot to like about anise seed (not to be confused with star anise!). These biscotti straight out of Grandma Cicero’s Sicilian kitchen wrap up all our favorite anise benefits into one delicious crunchy biscuit.
After making a batch of these biscotti, the yummy smell of anise hangs in the kitchen all day. We love these toasted cookies due to their satisfying crunchiness and delicate flavor, which makes them pretty addictive. Beware - it’s impossible to eat just one! Enjoy them as the perfect breakfast bite with your morning coffee--a crunch of sweetness with a unique, energizing flavor. Your taste buds will wake up fast!
To correctly flavor your biscotti, it’s important to use anise oil, available at specialty stores or online. Anise extract, an easier-to-find anise flavoring, doesn’t quite hold its taste through the baking process and leaves the biscotti tasty, but without the distinctive anise flavor.
The trickiest part to getting these right is to not leave them alone with the broiler! Keep eyes on the biscotti the whole time or they can burn really quickly. Getting the perfect level of crunch is a bit of an art, and requires your full attention.
This recipe also works great with different flavors or added nuts. Skip the anise and try almond extract and chopped almonds for an especially crunchy version, or for a beautiful holiday biscotti use vanilla extract, pistachios and cranberries.
Basic Sicilian Biscotti with Anise
1/2 c Butter
1 c Sugar
6 Large Eggs
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Anise Oil
4 c Flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix ingredients in a large bowl.
Form dough into 4 long loaves and arrange on a greased or non-stick cookie sheet--they won't expand much. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned; cut one loaf in half to check if done.
Cut the loaves into approximately 12 cookies each, about 1/2" thickness. Toast each side of the cookies in a broiler, being careful not to leave them too long.